Often when families are gathered around the dinner table, there are discussions of family history. Children are excited to hear about how grandparents met, where they’ve lived, and how their family grew. Since we consider all of our guests family, we thought we’d share our family story about Buca’s origins, and how we grew from a single location to over 100 restaurants across the globe.
In 1993 the first Buca di Beppo location opened in the basement level (“Buca di Beppo” roughly translates to “Joe’s Basement”) of a downtown Minneapolis apartment building. Emphasizing family-style dining for large groups in a fun atmosphere, the restaurant was an immediate hit with local diners. Originally owned by Parasole Restaurant Holdings Inc., Buca spun off to 5 restaurants in 1996 as the concept grew. Guests were charmed by our themed rooms, thousands of vintage photographs covering every wall in our restaurants, and fun details like recorded sounds of men and women laughing and conversing in Italian in the restrooms. We knew the importance of gathering around the dinner table and integrated a few special tables into each of our restaurants. Each location features a Pope table, which is the restaurant’s largest table, in its own room, named for the centerpiece bust of the Pope. Also, most locations have a chef’s table, usually inset to the wall, directly across from the main kitchen, where the waiters and chefs will chat with guests and bring you samples of the kitchen’s magnificent dishes. These unique rooms, tables, and details drew guests to return over and over again. But of course our food became the star of the show. With each menu item offered à la carte and served family style, our dishes are all shared among each dining party. The portions are plentiful and just like any successful family dinner, no one ever leaves hungry.
Our family of restaurants continued to grow and change. In 1999, when we had 20 restaurants, Buca, Inc. went public on the NASDAQ stock exchange. We steadily added new locations across the United States as demand grew for our delicious Italian inspired dishes. In 2008, Planet Hollywood International, Inc., purchased the Buca chain and in 2011, we moved our corporate office headquarters from the Minneapolis Hyatt Regency hotel to sunny Orlando, Florida. Now, in 2016, we boast 96 restaurants in the United States, 5 restaurants in the United Kingdom, and 2 restaurants in Abu Dhabi! We are so proud of all of our restaurants and so thankful that you choose to bring your family and friends to each of our locations throughout the year. When you come to Buca, you know that you will be treated like family at each location. The next time you want to tell your own family’s history, come to Buca where your table is always ready.